We all know by now that the Kansas City Chiefs elected to make a franchise-altering decision when they traded Tyreek Hill.
Head coach Andy Reid addressed that choice head-on at the annual NFL owners’ meeting and now the next steps are clear — how can GM Brett Veach and Reid go about turning all that new money and draft capital into an improved roster? Meaning, can they reinvent themselves better than they ever were before Hill’s departure?
That’s the big question Chiefs Kingdom is facing right now and one of the first acquisitions post-trade is already under fire.
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Bleacher Report Criticizes ‘MVS’ Deal
On March 24, the Chiefs announced they would be signing former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a three-year deal. The contract could payout up to $30 million but according to Over the Cap, only $8.56 million is guaranteed.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay was not crazy about this move, listing ‘MVS’ as the Chiefs’ worst free-agent signing of the 2022 offseason so far. Kay wrote:
The Kansas City Chiefs upended their offense by trading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. The move may have landed them draft capital and freed up cap space, but it also left K.C. bereft of pass-catchers. The team added JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling via the open market, but they won’t be able to replicate Hill’s production. Valdes-Scantling in particular isn’t likely to receive a bump with Patrick Mahomes, not after underperforming for the last few years with the Green Bay Packers. The 27-year-old possesses game-breaking speed and 6’4″ height but couldn’t put it all together with a back-to-back MVP in Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Valdes-Scantling had 123 receptions for 2,153 yards and 13 touchdowns across his four years and missed five games last year with a hamstring injury.
The NFL analyst concluded: “He’ll make a few plays and scores some touchdowns, but Valdes-Scantling is not going to get enough volume to make a real difference during his three-year, $30 million deal.”
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The Work Is Far From Done at WR
If you look at the Valdes-Scantling addition — or Smith-Schuster for that matter — as a direct replacement for Hill, of course these players are going to fall short. When you factor in the guaranteed money given to each, however, there’s another way to look at these signings.
It’s fair to reason that MVS and Smith-Schuster are the revamped depth in this sparkly new wide receiver core, which means the WR1 of the future is still on the way. Keep in mind that Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle needed to be accounted for as well. The ex-Steeler and Packer are more comparable as clear upgrades on those two.
That’s the magic of perspective and while Kay is judging Kansas City based on what they have physically done so far — which is fair — a fan is always allowed to speculate on what their team might still accomplish in the future.
After the Valdes-Scantling pickup, NFL insider Jordan Schultz tweeted: “Even after acquiring MVS, make no mistake; #Chiefs not done replenishing WR room – via trade, FA or draft. I mentioned [their] excitement about Skyy Moore yesterday… I’m told Jahan Dotson, Treylon Burks, David Bell and Christian Watson all have big fans inside the KC building.”
I’d focus your sights on a veteran trade or a draft pick for now, since the free-agent market is somewhat barren at the position.
Looking toward late April, the Chiefs have two first-round picks to work with and even if they drop one to the second round, there are plenty of talented wide receivers that should be on the board in that 29-40 range. Veach could also trade up to land a premier talent at the position if that’s his preference.
Some interesting names to keep an eye on, whether in the first or second round, could be the following (Schultz mentioned a few): Jameson Williams, Chris Olave, Burks, Dotson, George Pickens, Moore, Watson, Jalen Tolbert, and Bell among others.
Again, it is a very deep wide receiver class and Veach is far from finished.